Travel Tales: Muddy Woes

Have you ever wanted something really badly?

Well, one time I really needed to go number two.

It was a common set-up: two hours into a five-hour trip back home, and feeling the gurgles in my stomach. My husband was asleep beside me, so when the exit for the rest stop came up, I made the decision to pull in for some much-needed relief.

Except I took the wrong turn and started driving away from the rest stop.

Stretched between it and my compact car was a seemingly innocent green field. My husband was still asleep. I made another executive decision and drove right into the grass, determined to make it to the restroom.

What I didn’t count on was the mud. About one-third of the way across the field I could feel my tires sinking. At this point my husband was jolted awake by the sudden jerking sensations my car was making in an effort to push through. He looked around, confused. “Where are we?”

So I had to explain the urgency of the situation and my gallant efforts to get across the pasture. He opened his door, looked at the tires, and said it was anything but gallant.

My husband made me get out and stand in the mud while he took over the wheel, rocking the car back and forth, back and forth, slowly inching the wheels out of the ruts. Finally, after what seemed like eons, he prevailed. “I’m driving to the rest stop,” he said in a not-so-happy tone, as if getting woken from his nap by a mudding detour wasn’t a fun time. I’ll remember it the next time he does something crazy when we actually do go mudding. 

We did make it to our destination and I did get what I wanted. My husband decided to drive the rest of the way home so there would be no more scenic “detours” on the ride back.

But you know? Sometimes when you really want something, and you see it just outside your reach, you have to try with what you’ve got. You may make it, you may not, but in that moment you can say you gave your all, and walk away with mostly no regrets. I don’t regret cutting across that field, but I do regret taking the wrong turn that cost us time in the first place. Hindsight is 20/20, after all. You work with what you’ve got and roll with the punches.

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